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Oprah's Priest

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 9/23/09 at 10:26 AM

 

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey has selected a debut book by a Jesuit priest as her 63rd book-club selection.

Say You’re One of Them by Nigerian Uwem Akpan, was published in 2008 and includes five short stories from the perspective of children growing up in war-torn Africa. It includes stories about human trafficking in Gabon and Muslim vs. Christian violence in Ethiopia.

Akpan is pastor at Christ the King Church in Ilasamaja-Lagos, Nigeria. He studied philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities and theology at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006.

Asked about writing fiction, Akpan said, “Don’t forget that Jesus was a priest and a poet.”